In my thesis, I exam the way the Islamic religion had been attacked and negatively portrayed in European literature for centuries after the advent of this monotheistic religion under Prophet Mohammed’s flag in the Arabian Peninsula. Islam was demeaned and its culture was distorted as a means of building upon Christian confidence in the face of the sophisticated faith of Islam, which was spreading with surprising speed (represented by the Ottoman Empire) in Christian Europe. I look at different European examples of the negative portrayals of Islam before focusing specifically on English Renaissance writers generally and Christopher Marlowe specifically as a representative of his era. By closely examining Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great we are enabled a deeper understanding of the way Islam was looked at with fear and grudging respect in sixteenth century England. By understanding the status of Islam and its past reception in European Christendom, we reach a better understanding of modern Islamophobia in its current form; only by attempting to re-read the past can we understand the present.


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2016

First Advisor

Kolb, Justin

Committee Member 1

Ghazoul, Ferial

Committee Member 2

Melaney, Wiliiam


54 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


This piece of work would not have been possible without the love and support of my loving husband, who had stood with me every step of the way especially when I was at my lowest and most in need of a push. I also would love to acknowledge all my supervisors' patience and support throughout all the stages of my study. I thank God for the blessing of being able to make my dream of being an MA holder come true despite all the odds and hardships along the way.